Bordeaux or Burgundy

May 5th, 2011, 11:05 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
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Bordeaux or Burgundy

Hello world!
My husband and I are planning an 8 day trip to France. I ve been several times and was an Au Pair in Paris when I was 18.
Have been to Provence (love it) the south of France and the Loire.
However I have not spent any time in Bordeaux or Burgundy. Presently I m booked in Bordeaux but its during the Vinexpo and I m thinking it ll be too busy at that time. Its our 25th weddying ann and I want to do something special..I really want to get bikes and go to vineyards for a day, was wondering which has better countryside? We will spend time in Paris at the end but looking for an experience in the French wine to bike, explore and a little bit of shopping, would love to visit historic places, any preferences out there?
LisaGreene is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Bordeaux is a city. Burgundy is a region. So it's a bit hard to answer your questions. I can't imagine biking out of Bordeaux into the wine country, but of course if you based outside the city you could do that, and of course you could bike a lot of places in Burgundy.

Overall, the countryside, and wine country in particular, in Burgundy is more attractive that that around Bordeaux. From Bordeaux, the nearest beautiful countryside is the Dordogne, but then you'd have to forgo the grands crûs and settle for Pécharmant and Bergerac and Monbazillac.
StCirq is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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Burgundy is probably better from the scenic point of view (villages, chateaux, churches), but a car would probably be better than bicycling around.

Another option is Alsace which has picturesque villages in the middle of its vineyards, which was not my impression of Burgundy.
Michael is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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I think Bordeaux would really just be a hub for us....we are staying in Valence which is just outside of it, hopefully its not to inconvienient...but thought we d explore bordeaux for a a day or two, then get a car to the dordogne and explore that area. I m getting really confused though as in Burgundy it looks as though from Beaune or Dijon you could get a train that has bikes permitted and explore that way. REally I just want to spend a day or two exploring vineyards by bike, and was hoping that could happen outside of Bordeaux. Any thoughts?
LisaGreene is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 12:29 PM
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Now I am confused. When I use viamichelin and type in the hamlet (90 inhabitants) in the Dordogne without the postal code, I get a choice of three towns by that name, including the hamlet. When I type in Valence, I get only one result which is in the Rhône valley. How big is the Valence where you are staying, or can you give its postal code?
Michael is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 12:48 PM
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Count me confused too. I've never heard of a Valence just outside Bordeaux, and I think I've covered almost every inch of that territory many times. If by any chance you're referring to Valence d'Agen (which is often referred to as just Valence), that's....well, nowhere close to "just outside Bordeaux." It's in the Tarn-et-Garonne, in the Midi-Pyrénnés region.

You can, BTW, get a train almost anywhere in France that permits bikes. Are you bringing your own or planning to rent them? If you're planning to rent them, I'm not sure why you need a train to put them on - you'd just need a train to get to them, maybe.
StCirq is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 03:58 PM
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Burgundy is an excellent choice for wine tasting in the countryside. For example, you can easily rent bikes in Beaune and spend a day in the vines.

However, if you are set on the Bordeaux area, you could look at St. Emilion, a small wine village about a 45 minute drive from the city of Bordeaux -- quite charming, very rural, and also surrounded by wineries.
Magster2005 is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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oh so sorry....typo...Talence! Mybad. At la reserve au pavillion du Chateau Raba. Ive heard of St Emillion as well. That s great that the trains take bikes..I think now I have to decide if I want to have either a 4 hour communte from Paris (bordeaux) or 1.5 -2 in the burgundy.
LisaGreene is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 06:00 PM
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My take on wine areas: they are less interesting than other areas in terms of scenery because of the monoculture; and that would be true of any area with monoculture. In addition, I have the impression that wine tasting will be limited to one specific type in any given winery and its neighbors: Médoc in the Médoc area, St. Émilion in that area, etc., whereas in California, wineries will vinify different varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, etc. To sample a variety of wines from the different Bordeaux grape areas, one will have better luck in a tasting room in Bordeaux itself. The same may be true of Burgundy.

My impression is that Alsace is a more interesting touring area when combining wine and sights. Which is not to denigrate what is to be seen in Burgundy, but in my experience, the nice sights in Burgundy were not in the immediate wine areas.
Michael is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 08:18 PM
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It's a little under 3 hours to Bordeaux from Paris on the TGV.
StCirq is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 08:58 PM
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I've done Dijon and Beaune in Bourgogne although not yet in Bordeaux (coming Sept) and I've really enjoyed Bourgogne. I did 2 wine tastings in Beaune's caves and did biking from Beaune to Chateau de Gilly all by myself. The ride and view in the vineyards were amazing! Then I proceeded to Dijon where I had the best, IMHO, oeurves en meurette! I think BOurgogne is more quaint where you can explore and learn about wines without feeling too inadequate particularly as a first-timer whereas BOrdeaux and around would be more like a 'I visited so-and-so vineyard' type of experience?
Jillian007 is offline  
May 6th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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You can be in Dijon airport within 1h30 with
Then instead of going to Dijon station by taxi (road works for the tramway, it would take a long time to get there) go South to Gevrey Chambertin. Visit the village (and do a wine tasting) and then take a train to go to Beaune in 19 min. Sleep in Beaune, enjoy lunch there and then back to Bordeaux with the 16h40 flight (check schedules). Keep Dijon for another trip. Bon voyage!
cocofromdijon is offline  
May 6th, 2011, 08:23 AM
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If you really plan to take a bike on the trains, you'll have to find out the rules a little. Not all trains accept them, and certain kinds are marked as accepting bikes in the schedules (eg, TERs or some Corail), which means they don't all of that kind. I think all TGVs and Teoz do, assuming there is space, they have to go in the baggage area. If you weren't going far, maybe you could stand with it at the end of the car, if necessary (but that maybe be against rules, not sure). I think you need a reservation for it, also, on TGVs and Teoz, but I don't know all the details.
Christina is offline  
May 7th, 2011, 10:56 PM
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if you want to bike,burgundy is better
the D2 of "bordeaux" can be busy
once you arrive in dijon go to beaune and rent a bike near the railway station
south you have pommard,volnay,meursault,puligny,chassagne and santenay
north you have aloxe corton,nuits saint georges,vosne romanée,vougeot,chambolle musigny,morey saint denis and gevrey chambertin
no need to go further than gevrey chambertin towards dijon
the RN 74 is busy,but you may use the vineyards route which runs parallel
you may buy from atheneum in beaune the book "burgundy wines" of sylvain pitiot to direct yourself
womeninwine is offline  

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